Inaugural Insurgency to be Broadcast, Relayed

Back around the holidays CNN ran a story about a pirate radio station in D.C. calling for “massive protests” during Bush II’s second inauguration (happening this Thursday, with the festivities running into the weekend). The unexpected exposure caused WSQT, or “The Squat,” to switch broadcasts from the AM to FM band. The station is now also semi-mobile, transmitting with a five-watt brick which it claims can be heard for several miles. There’s apparently quite the engineer behind this operation, as most if not all of the gear in use is homebrew and built especially for the job at hand.

WSQT’s also posted some new audio to IMC-Radio: snippets of public service announcements the station’s been running in the runup to the inaugural action. Other tactical radio projects may be in the works and any streams coming out of D.C. will be rebroadcast via microradio (check with your local station for times). It was the 2000 inauguration protests that really demonstrated the power of the impromptu radio network model, which has only grown more advanced in the last four years.

IMC Raid Update

New info available: the request to seize the server running 20+ Independent Media Centers originated with agencies in Italy and Switzerland (see the comments attached to the story for more good info); the FBI and UK authorities were only complying out of respect for a multi-lateral law enforcement assistance treaty. Still, the treaty in question was written to cover some specific crimes, like “international terrorism, kidnapping, and money laundering” – none of which the targeted IMC was involved in.

The application of law for the sake of convenience strikes again….

Indymedia Under Attack (Again)

Today FBI agents seized a server that hosted several Independent Media Center sites. None of the story makes any sense: the actual confiscation took place in London – reportedly as a matter of “professional courtesy” that originated with a request from Swiss law enforcement officials. That request has something to do with pictures posted to an IMC of undercover Swiss police working a protest in France.

In a single strike several IMCs in Europe and South America, as well as IMC-Radio, were wiped out (although some have since been restored thanks to quickly-rigged backups). It was a nicely-timed raid, too, as the European Social Forum takes place next week. Read More

Freak Radio: Rebound in Progress

Free Radio Santa Cruz may be down but they are definitely not out. The station’s webcast is back online and it is being relayed on-air by other microradio stations around the country in solidarity. Reaction to the raid is pouring in from around the globe (hopefully material support is, too). A local benefit for the station is already in the works early next month.

The Santa Cruz IMC continues to collect raid coverage, including more than 100 photos, audio/video coverage, and reaction from Freak Radio volunteers. Links to corporate media coverage (neutral-to-positive in tone) will be posted in this weekend’s Schnazz update.

Update #2 – Free Radio Santa Cruz Raided

A team of Federal Marshals – some in riot gear – arrived at the station’s home during the 9 o’clock hour this morning. Residents there were rousted with the barrels of guns (including automatic weapons); nobody was in the studio at the time, however. Five FCC agents arrived after the show of force and confiscated everything.

When word got out between 100-150 people showed up on the spot to protest the raid. This included slashing the tires of the FCC and Federal Marshals’ vehicles, which stranded them at the scene for a time. Nobody was arrested and no fine has been issued against anyone. Read More